It so happens that sometimes, if not always, people tend to confuse religious beliefs with superstition and traditional myths.
And I guess it is more relevant here in our state of Nagaland.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, lists Nagaland as the only state in the whole world with Baptist Christian majority but it also goes on to state that the Naga people are only semi-Christians as they still follow their traditional practices in the form of cultural festivals and traditional myths and beliefs. But we, as Naga people, have every right to contradict the information being put forward in the free encyclopaedia because we know that we are not semi-Christians and that our cultural festivals are just a means of keeping our roots alive. Or are we??
There is the possibility that people hailing from outside our state might not understand the festivals that every tribe of our state have and hence, doubt our positions as Christians in the first place but what about us?? Can we truly stand our ground when someone comes up to us and ask what our religion is? When someone asks us if we are true Christians? Will we feel a tinge of guilt in our hearts when we reply that we are, indeed, Christians?
When we look at this from the context of today’s world in the realm of academics where we come across different types of application forms that one is required to fill from time to time and there comes the question of one’s religion. I am sure nobody will hesitate, in this scenario, to confidently tick the blank box allotted to the tag Christian but that’s just it and nothing more.
Well, that is just the tip of the ice berg.
But I am implying this argument to everyone in general and to no one in particular because I know and I myself have come across people who are true to God in flesh and in spirit but I have also frequently come across people whose life has been ruined because of the confusion between religion and superstition.
There was this Christian couple who got married in a grand wedding. It was a love marriage. What no one knew was that the woman had administered medicine to the man to make him fall in love with her. The person selling the potion also assured her that they will have a big family and a lot of wealth – an added bonus of the Love Potion. What more could a woman ask for.
Years passed by and she gave birth to five beautiful children but along with it, their financial condition also dried up like an open eroded patch of land in the harsh May sun. The husband started to turn to alcohol and took a fancy to abusing his wife physically quite occasionally.
It was not what the wife had planned for in the first place. It wasn’t supposed to happen. The husband fell ill but was left with no diagnosis even after seeing hoards of doctors. It was the Love Potion gone wrong. But she did not know how to reverse the Love Potion. The man who sold her the potion was a wanderer and there was no way on earth she could find him and even if she did, after all the years that have passed by, it was apparent that he would definitely deny the transaction.
And she watched her husband die…slowly and painfully. Love of her life.
If only she had held on tight to her Christian values in the first place. If only she had.
And what about Christian parents in today’s paradoxical world??
Our family have the tradition of having dinner together. It was something that evolved out of habit. It was during one such evening when we were seated together on the dining table enjoying our dinner that this guy walked in on us.
We were all surprised when he exclaimed “Whoa, this is what we call a happy family!”
He was the one tagged as the most notorious youth in the colony. Given his short temperament and his inclination to get into fights with just about anybody from time to time, he has been frequently reprimanded and drastic measures taken by the concerned colony authorities time after time. But it wasn’t just his fault alone. His father was what people call a reckless and merciless man. The father would beat him to the point of critical body injury every time he made a mistake.
His father even used to threaten him with his loaded hunting gun. And as he grew up, his heart turned to stone and he stopped feeling pain and became alienated to every form of emotions and became the person he was today – hardened, bold, fearless and a menace to society as a whole.
I suppose when he walked in on us having our family dinner that evening, maybe it pulled a chord in his heart, a longing to feel the love of one’s family, the love and care of parents.
So if we go back to the root of his condition, we will definitely conclude that it was his merciless father that played the most important role in making him the person that he is today.
Is that what we call a Christian upbringing??
I dare anyone to walk up to the father in question and ask him what his religion is. He will no doubt answer that he is a Christian by birth or it is more probable that you will get a bullet in your head instead of an answer.
Our forefather’s hunted heads until Christianity came and washed away their tradition of head hunting. Today we cheat and betray our brothers and we even kill in the name of freedom of our state. Is it not worse than head hunting? At least our forefathers were true and straight forward in the way they dealt with the person whose head they cut but today, we sneak up from behind and pump our brothers full of bullets.
We pray out loud and ignore our sick neighbour. We break people’s heart without any second thoughts. Forgiving each other has become a thing of the past. Going to church has turned into something about fashion statements.
Are we really semi-Christians?? Or is namesake Christians the right term?
Welcoming Christmas with alcohols and wild parties has become a trend amongst the youngsters of today and without these indulgences, it feels as if something is missing. And New Year feels stale and cold if one does not get drunk to the core. And we say we all are Christians from the day we were born.
Where are we headed with all this?
Isn’t this what they call “Paradise Misplaced??”